11-year-old mariachi from NBA finals coming to NM

June 29, 2013 • Entertainment, State News

In this undated publicity photo released courtesy of Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque, 11-year-old San Antonio-born Sebastien de la Cruz is shown performing at one of his many concerts. Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque announced Thursday, June 27, 2013, that de la Cruz, known as the “Voice of Gold,” will perform at the group’s annual event in July. Early this month his singing of the national anthem at the NBA Finals set off a barrage of racist tweets, but only convinced him to return and sing it again. (AP [auth] Photo/Courtesy of Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An 11-year-old Latino boy whose singing of the national anthem at the NBA Finals set off a barrage of racist tweets is coming to Albuquerque.

The New Mexico-based Atrisco Companies announced this week that San Antonio-born Sebastien De La Cruz will be the “Guest Performer” at this year’s Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque concert on July 13.

The annual concert at the Sandia Resort and Casino often is known for attracting internationally known mariachi singers and performers.

De La Cruz gained national attention earlier this month after the Spurs arranged a second act as a show of support following a run of disparaging tweets about Latinos and immigrants during De La Cruz’s nationally televised performance before Game 3. Both performances sparked national support from Mexican American activists, writers and celebrities.

During his second performance, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the keynote speaker at last year’s Democratic National Convention, introduced him. The young singer was congratulated by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra at midcourt after he belted out “The Star-Spangled Banner” while boisterous fans cheered him on at the AT&T Center.

The mariachi singer, also known as “El Charro de Oro,” or the “Voice of Gold,” first found fame as a contestant on “America’s Got Talent.”

Atrisco Companies CEO Peter Sanchez said Albuquerque was proud to featuring De La Cruz after his NBA performances.

“It was a great moment for Latino Pride and a very clear statement about Latinos as American citizens,” Sanchez said.

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